Efforts to Cultivate Campus Greenery Are Blooming
By Jill Gambon
UMass Lowell’s efforts to cultivate a tree-filled campus have again been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation. For the second consecutive year, the University has been named a Tree Campus USA for its commitment to sustainable campus forestry.
The foundation, a national conservation and education organization based in Lincoln, Neb., awards the Tree Campus honor to colleges and universities that meet five key criteria. They must have: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, an annual budget for tree maintenance and upkeep; a yearly Arbor Day observance on campus and sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
UMass Lowell is the only school in Massachusetts to earn the distinction (and one of just two in New England).
“Achieving Tree Campus USA recognition sets an example for other colleges and universities and allows students a chance to give back to both their campus community and the community at large,” says John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.
In the past year, work has been completed on a Tree Walk on South Campus and students installed a community garden on East Campus by the Riverwalk. The University also planted trees on Solomont Way on South Campus and on East Campus in front of Bourgeois Hall and elsewhere.
In keeping with the University’s sustainability efforts, the hundreds of trees on campus help reduce energy needs and carbon dioxide levels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service estimates that trees properly placed around buildings can trim air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 to 50 percent in the energy used for heating.